As I read thistouching excerpt, I thought, “I could have written something almost JUST like it…..
So began one of my first conversations with one of our new foster daughters. Noooo, I didn’t say it, thank you very much. The four-year old did. I promise. From her car seat as I looked over my shoulder at her before driving off to find a daycare.
In case you were wondering where I’ve been, I have to say I think it was in the midst of a gustnado, literally and figuratively. Summer storm season is here, and so is, thankfully, some rain. But we’ve had plenty of rainbows, too, and that’s what I’m focusing on.
Last month, we received a call from CPS, asking us if we’d take a one-year-old girl. We were excited. This was it. What we’d been working for all this time! We made all the calls to our parents, friends, and whoever else should know, only to be disappointed the next morning when we got the call that we wouldn’t be fostering that child at all, because of some snafu. Yes, Situation Normal, All Fouled Up. (Okay, military guys, I know that’s not exactly the way it goes, but I’m a mommy now, and have to clean up my act.)
But the very next afternoon, we got a call from CPS asking us if we’d take a three, nearly four, year old girl THAT NIGHT, for an emergency placement. Wow. Talk about a tailspin. Of course we would.
At that point, the storm front came through.
I was already behind at work, but I overcame that and joined Mr. Man at home, where we waited. And waited. Finally, up the sidewalk, came our little girl. Hair a-tangle, dirty, with only the clothes on her back, and miserable. Evidently, the removal had been quite a scene. We don’t have a complete picture, only what we can form from bits and pieces. I have a feeling getting a whole story will be difficult, and will probably never happen. Suffice to say, the child was in desperate need, and we were desperately ready to start giving her any help we could.
The caseworker stayed quite awhile, trying to smooth the way in the introductions, but really, how can anything make it any better? Girlchild (as she will henceforth be known) had been plucked away from her Mommy and Daddy and didn’t understand why, but had some ideas in her head about it already.
The caseworker had to leave, and, already crying, Girlchild’s heart-rendering sobs shattered the tentative silence of the room that had been laying in wait, ready for a child to come live there. Her heart was broken. Mr. Man and I tried to soothe her, but nothing we said made a difference. I held her sweaty little body as she bawled, red-faced and snotty, and clung to my neck. I felt at a loss, while at the same time, God forgive me for the fleeting thought, hoping the lice in her hair didn’t jump into my own. But I was incapable of hesitating, parasites or no. Her need outweighed my concern ten-thousand fold.
After awhile, she drew back, and took several hiccuping breaths.
“It’s my fault,” she said, her voice matter-of-fact.
“What?” I asked, not wanting to believe she’d said it.
“It’s my fault. Every time my mommy gets in trouble it’s because of me.” Hiccup.
“No, baby. It’s NOT your fault.”
“It is too.”
“My mommy doesn’t love me.” Sob.
“Yes, she does. She loves you so much.”
“No, she doesn’t.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because she told me.”
THUD went my stomach. What could I say? “No, darlin’ your mommy does love you. I know it.” I hope I’m not lying.
Another thing her mommy said to her, according to Girlchild, came to light while she was with my mom the next day.
“My Mommy says I’m stupid. She doesn’t like me.”
“Why do you think that?” Mom asks.
“She told me.”
Ouch. Mom did her best to deflect this train of thought, and reassure Girlchild.
A few days later, we get a call, asking if we will take Girlchild’s sister, Ladybug (so called because of a recent face-painting experience.) Ladybug is five. All over the place. She’d been staying at a local assessment center with the two older siblings. Why she didn’t get placed with us at the beginning, I don’t know. (Get a running theme here? ‘I don’t know’ is a recurring phrase in dealing with this foster parenting thing, or so I am learning.) So the drama was less when Ladybug joined our household. But it’s still a sad situation, for reasons I’m not at liberty to discuss.
I have so many things that I CAN share with you though. And I will. But over time. Time…such a precious thing.
So now, we have two little girls.
And the same week, we signed a contract to build a house. Yes, it looks like we are finally going to move. The builder, nee his assistant, assures me that if we don’t sell our house by August, there will be an investor that will buy it. I just hope it all works out. I am afraid to get my hopes up, but BOOM there they are.
Oh, and did I mention the plague sinus infection/cold/whatever I’ve been fighting this past month? *COUGH*
AND our car club hosted a fundraiser for Relay for Life with PT Cruisers from 8 different states attending.
AND I still have both jobs.
Not that I’m a whiner or anything, it is what it is.
I’m thankful for the girls, for however long we are blessed with them.
I’m thankful for the opportunity for a new home.
I’m thankful that I have work, to give me money which I’ve already spent.
I’m thankful for Mr. Man, who has taken to this Daddy thing like a duck to water. What a guy.
I’m thankful for the new friends that we made, and the money that we raised to help battle cancer.
God is Great.
And with that, I am going to bed, y’all.
Things have been busy.
I haven’t blogged in so long, I think I may have lost my touch. I haven’t read many blogs either. Sorry! I’ll get back to you.
SUNDAY we went with fellow Cruisers to Palo Duro Canyon to cout out photo ops for our upcoming Cruising The Crossroads PT Cruiser event. In a convertible. Soooo fun. Makes me think I would like to have one…not happening. 🙂 When we left the Canyon, we were invited to a cookout hosted by a local builder. Long story short,we were shown a house and signed a contract, builder wants to buy ours in a trade. UNLESS we have someone else they send our way wants to buy it first. Otherwise, they’re interested. Now…the financing circus. If one way doesn’t work, then we’ll go another way. if that doesn’t pan out, they’ve offered to build us a smaller one…right now, we’re waiting to hear from the mortgage company.
MONDAY we gat a call from our Foster Home Developer saying now that we were licensed, she wanted to have a home visit and go over some things and answer any questions we might have.
WHAT? We’re LICENSED? Who told us? We’ve been waiting for two weeks to to find out the answer to the Big Question. So there we are, folks. Paper in hand, WE ARE NOW OFFICIALLY LICENSED FOSTER-TO-ADOPT parents! Now we wait. Our Developer askedif we strictly want to adopt, or are willing to foster, too.
We’ve been asked this before in the course of our journey.
Today, a difinitive answer came to me, and I can only explain it as a True Calling. “FOSTERING, TOO” popped up in my mind, as clear as daylight. I think, and so does Mr. Man, that this is something God wants us to do right now. I haven’t felt something this strong in this way since I was baptized.
I don’t throw these thoughts or words around lightly.
We know it’s not going to be easy. And we know there will be difficulties along the way, but no one promised it would be a smooth road. We don’t know what situations we will find ourselves in. What we do know is the children need someone to stand for them, and take care of them when their families can’t. Or won’t. We’ll be sad when we have to relinquish custody of children we come to love.
But when the time comes, we’ll be able to build a forever family.
Oh, also on Monday, I had the privilege of seeing the brilliant Maya Angelou speak. I KNOW, she deserves a more respectable mention than my off-hand one. But I plan to post another blog on that wonderful experience later.
Today, Mom and I went to Sears to get the baby items we have on layaway. We were told not only did they not have that, but we were told the order had been improperly prepared,the items were un-orderable, and basically, their attitude was too bad, too sad for us. We were treated terribly,and couldn’t even get a manager to help us. The only thing they could do, they said, was mail us a check in two weeks. When we said we guessed they weren’t too eager to keep business, we were told with an attitude like ours, they sure didn’t. The fact is, we entered into the transaction in good faith, they defaulted, and we’re S.O.L. The salesperson spoke to both me, and my mother, in such a disrespectful manner it was beyond infuriating.
We did get some kid stuff from a yard sale across the street, though. The neighbor know what we are getting into,and gave us a really good deal on a lot of really great stuff!
Now, we’re stuck waiting again, for the next step in the adoption journey, and what we hope will be a final answer in the house stuff…
I wanted to share this poem I came across today, written by Lisa J. Schlitt:
With saddened eyes and head bent low,
It’s damaged goods most see.
With my unclear eyes and broken heart,
Who would want a child like me?
I watch her walk into the room,
From a distance I can see,
But dare I take a closer step?
Who would want a child like me?
And then I see her look my way,
She smiles so tenderly.
But do I even dare to dream,
She would want a child like me?
And then, as if I spoke out loud,
She approaches cautiously.
I try so hard to once believe,
She will want a child like me.
But dare I once let down my guard,
And trust that she will see,
Hiding beneath this old stained shirt,
Is a beautiful child like me?
My smile, they say, lights up a room.
I’ll be as good as I can be.
Oh, please, dear God, let her want
A special child like me.
I feel her hand reach out for mine,
And within her eyes I see,
A single, tiny, shining tear.
Could she want a child like me?
And when she takes me in her arms,
With a warmth so pure and new,
She says the words I’ve prayed to hear,
“The child I want is you.”
Isn’t that beautiful?
We had a nice shower here this afternoon. Fortunately, the severe weather steered around the city.
That’s not the only good news. It seems our home study went well…and soon we’ll know something for sure about our potential approval for foster-to-adopt parenthood.
Things around here have been kind of slow the past couple weeks, thus the quiet blog.
Our home study seemed to go really well. The social worker was a really nice lady, and we felt comfortable with her. Which was good, considering some of the things we were asked, we never thought we’d discuss with anyone. Yes, they asked the SEX LIFE question.
I’ll just say, we told her it wasn’t a source of tension in our relationship, and leave it at that. You guys don’t want to hear about that anyway.
When she left, we had a good feeling. She said she had about 15 days to get her report filled out, and we’d know something after that.
I hope it’s good news.
Well, Wednesday we have our home study interview. The case worker said it should take about 3 hours. We don’t think there’s three hours worth to us to interview, and even she said our case appeared to be easy enough, since we had all our paperwork in order and didn’t have any ex-anybodies to investigate, or children of our own to interview and investigate. I’m not too nervous about this step. Mr. Man seems more concerned about this one. And I can see why. I mean, the big question is, will we be rejected after they interview us? Will we be found wanting, unqualified, not up to snuff?
Oddly, I am calmer. I was more concerned about the city coming to give us a health inspection. As prehistoric as it sounds, in this house, as in many, the housekeeping is mainly under my jurisdiction, and who in their right mind wouldn’t be jumpy at the prospect of being put under the microscope? But, as I said, the inspectors who came were very nice, professional, and put me at ease almost immediately. Oh, and don’t get me wrong, when the occasion calls for it, Mr. Man DOES step up to the plate. It’s just mainly my area. Joy.
As you can see, we have pretty much prepared as much as we can without knowing who we’re going
to get. We have the room set aside, and two little beds all ready. The rest we can get as we go.
Unless the caseworker tells us differently.
Our oldest niece, AM,
on Mr. Man’s side, works for CPS, and says the people who are contracted to do the interviews are really nice, too. And the lady was cordial on the telephone. So, we’ll see.
Dodger and Hermione seem to know something’s up. They had to get in on the action as Mr. Man put together the beds.
Did I mention we had a blizzard Friday?
We sure as heck did. Or close enough that’s what I’m going to call it. They’ve been quibbling about the technicality of it, but it was what it was. We had a snow day at home, and it was glorious! I dreaded getting out the next morning and digging out my car, and was sure I’d be late to work, because let’s face it, I’m late on a good day, forget about getting up EXTRA early. I also knew the snowblower Mom bought for the family to share was deep in the bowels of our garage, where it’s sat, unneeded for a couple of years. Behind all the furniture and crap we’ve stored in there for that move we thought we’d have made by now.
My concerns were, as usual, unwarranted, even though I had to shove my door open and plunge into a drift that came up over my knees. Wading through that, I swept a foot and a half off of my car, only to find a crust of ice beneath. You see, the blizzard sent a calling card ahead of time, in the form of freezing rain and sleet. Again, I was lucky. The ice practically fell off at the mere wave of the ice scraper I’d inherited from Daddy. I ended up having time to stop and get my morning Diet Coke with time to spare, since the streets, though slick, weren’t the worst I’d ever navigated.
By the afternoon, nearly ALL of the drifts and snowfall had disappeared, soaked in by the thirsty, drought-ridden earth where our hometown rests. If I’d had more initiative, I would have gotten out of my pj’s and taken video of some very befuddled weenie dogs, or at least more pictures.
But no. I had a Lisa Kleypas’s BLUE-EYED DEVIL to finish. That woman can tell a story like nobody’s business. I’ve met her a couple of times, and she is not only talented, but gorgeous and sweet, too. *sigh*
Critique groups have been off due to Spring Break, but I look forward to them starting up again. Once I get our taxes done, I’ll be able to settle down to the WIP again. I know, that REEKS of excuse-ology, especially with the time I spend online, and here on the blog. But I can’t really count the blog, because this is kind of my unloading spot, where I send a good amount of my brain clutter into space, where few actually care. (By no means do I download it all. I don’t want to scare anybody. 🙂 But enough to help me sleep.) Besides, it’s not like I’m being real creative on here.
Most of the time.
I spoke to the crew in OKC tonight. Everyone seems to be doing well, and Toddler was even a bit talkative tonight. I miss them so much sometimes, my heart aches. But we’ll see them soon. And now that SisM has her blog, CHARMED LIFE, we can keep up with one another even more. Brother also mentioned an interest in setting one up. How fun!
I didn’t think I had much to say tonight, but I managed to fill up a page. I suppose I should sign off now, so I’ll have some reading time before I turn out the lights. Right now, I’m reading MONTANA CREEDS: DYLAN, the second in the new trilogy by Linda Lael Miller, another of my auto-buys. I’ll just have to remind myself to find a stopping place before I end up finishing it and cussing myself out when my alarm goes of after only 3 or 4 hours of sleep.
Wish me luck!